Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi promised it. The ‘civil rights’ season would begin after the reforms season. And finally it has officially started. May 11th marks a historical date. Same-sex unions law have become law, making Italy the 27th country in Europe to legally recognise same-sex couples.
After getting this news I thought about some friends of mine who got ‘married’ last year in Rome. Basically they got some benefits of symbolic value that now are real. I’m truly happy for them and for all the other people who can definitely choose to say ‘Yes, I do.’
But beside this huge and important result it’s now necessary to get a move on the next civil rights step, the Italian citizenship reform law (law 91 of 1992), since the measure approved more than six months ago by the Lower House of the Italian parliament have reached deadlock. I can’t sincerely figure out why.
Despite some critical aspects, if approved the measure would make it easier for children born in Italy to foreign parents to become citizens (the current law states that a kid born in Italy is not allowed to apply for citizenship until he or she turns 18) How? Through the Ius Soli Temperato, that is gaining citizenship by birth if a child is born in Italy by foreign parents who have been legally living in Italy for five years; through the Ius Culturae, that is being entitled to receive Italian citizenship if a child of foreign parents who arrived in Italy within 12 years of age have attended at least five years of school and completed it successfully. Children who arrived between 12 and 18 years of age can also apply if they have lived lawfully in Italy for at least six years and have positively completed a cycle of education. In both cases, parents – or guardians of the minor – must apply at the local city council before the child turns 18.
A couple of days ago I read an article that highlights the current situation of the Italian school system. In 2,851 Italian schools one in three pupils is not (yet) Italian. In more than 500 Italian schools over half of the pupils are (not) yet Italian.
And there are also many adults born and/or grown in Italy but not (yet) Italian citizens because they either didn’t apply for citizenship within a year of turning 18 or they lived out of the country for some years, for instance. Young people who dj or organize events and parties where people go dance and listen to the best hip-hop music; or with whom they study or work with. Young people who get you a cappuccino with a croissant during a rest after your museum visit or bring you a size n° 9 of those shoes you fell in love with as you approached that fancy shop. People who are growing the Italian economy and adding value to its culture. Neighbors. Friends. Deprived of a fundamental human right.
There are 1 million young Italians of foreign roots that are not Italians due to the law. All along the lines of “Foreign Italians”.
Last March civil associations part of the “L’Italia sono anch’io – I am Italy too” awareness campaign, which La Rete G2 – Seconde Generazioni (G2 -Second Generations Network) is an early promoter of – calls on the Senate to pick up the pace on reforms but any date for the discussion and the approval of the amendaments has been set, yet.
So, how long will it takes for the changes to take effect? I hope soon. If not, it would be nice to see all the LGBT associations, the people from the culture and entertainment world, and common people who in these years have worked for these important civil issues to become actual rights (from rallying in the square to simply fading their facebook profile picture with the rainbow just as a sign of solidarity), walking alongside all the associations of L’Italia sono anch’io and the million of “Foreign Italians” waiting impatiently to become citizens.
“I can tell the malaise in the air and that I see in every city. I feel to be a child of Italy even if I was not born here,” sings Brescian rapper Mista Tolu.
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